Dances of Universal Peace (DUP) are a spiritual practice in motion, employing singing and dancing the sacred phrases of the world's religions. Their intention is to raise consciousness and promote peace between diverse religions. The DUP are of North American Sufic origin. They combine chants from many world faiths with dancing, whirling, and a variety of movement with singing.
Five to 500 dancers stand in a circle often around a leader and musicians, with acoustic instruments, in the center. All dances are participatory and spectatorship is somewhat discouraged because joy is the goal, not technical performance of specified dance steps or forms. Dances are facilitated by a dance leader often playing a drum, guitar, flute or other stringed instrument. For lyrics, dances borrow inspirational poetry, quotes and chants which are sung as the dance is performed. Chants are often sacred phrases put to traditional, contemporary or occasionally improvised melodies. A wide range of languages are deliberately employed including Arabic, Aramaic, English, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Persian, and Sanskrit. Dance promoters use diverse religious practices, chants and languages to demonstrate how joy lives at the heart of each and all religions.